Hudson gymnasts roll past Brunswick in debut

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Staff report

The host Hudson gymnastics team made a stellar 2013-14 debut with a 139.4-131.1 victory over Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division rival Brunswick Dec. 14 at Flytz Gymnastics in Cuyahoga Falls.

"If this was a prelude of what's to come this season, I couldn't be more excited," Lady Explorers head coach Randi Chepke said.

"Our underclassmen really stepped up and contributed in a big way."

Hudson (1-0, 1-0) took the top three spots on vault, the uneven bars, floor exercise and in the all-around competition.

Sophomore Jenni Spencer led the way on vault with a first-place score of 8.75.

"Jenni Spencer flipped a tsuk and earned an 8.75," Lady Explorers head coach Chepke said. "She's a powerhouse on this event, but she still needs to finesse her landing to grab a few more 10ths."

Katie Goosmann finished second (8.55) and teammate Macy Lori, a freshman, placed third with a score of 8.4.

"We started a little slow on vault, but we have great potential here," Chepke said. "Katie Goosmann is a newcomer to our vault lineup and brought everything she had to score an 8.55. She, too, has a bit of perfecting to do, but she'll get there. Great first showing."

Mackenzie Miller led Hudson on the bars with a first-place score of 9.15. Teghan Piper (8.95) and Lori (8.95) finished second and third, respectively.

"We have some new routines on bars that went a long way in helping us post one of our best scores on this event in any season opener in the last several years," Chepke said.

"Goosmann, Megan Urbanic and Spencer are all new to the bar lineup this year and performed extremely well for us here."

Goosmann placed fourth (8.45) and Urbanic (8.35) took sixth. Spencer and teammate Jordan Miller placed seventh (8.3).

Lori led the way on the beam with a first-place score of 9. Piper was next for the Lady Explorers in third (8.8). Also placing in the top six were Riley Skinner (fourth, 8.55) and Kelsey Tetmeyer (sixth, 8.3).

"We have an unbelievable group of beam performers," Chepke said. "We've got routines to burn. Some of our lower-level performers -- as far as skill difficulty goes -- are getting stronger and more consistent every practice. That's an asset to any gymnastics team -- having beam workers you can fall back on when you need them."

Mackenzie Miller took first with a 9.05 in the floor exercise. Lori grabbed second (8.9) and Piper finished third (8.8). Spencer placed fifth (8.65).

"Floor exercise is where we probably show our biggest promise," Chepke said. "Every girl on the team has been working more difficult skill combinations. Once we get the kinks worked out, we'll have an extremely threatening lineup.

"Mac Miller almost never disappoints on this event. She twists a double this year that is so much fun to watch. It's fast and it's high and the physicality of it is pretty darn impressive. We even watered down her last pass, but she still hit big.

"Lori is a spitfire on floor. Her music is so upbeat, she just beams out there. We took out the most difficult passes in Piper's routine. She has huge skills but is still recuperating from a track injury, so our job is to help her make it for the long haul. We can afford to reign her in early so she can pull out the big guns later on."

Lori took first in the all-around competition (35.25) and Piper (34.7) and Spencer (33.9) took the next two spots.

"Macy Lori pulled off an all-around great first meet and nabbed that title," Chepke said. "She was a pleasure to watch. She didn't let the rookie nerves take over and settled in pretty quickly after getting that first event of vault under her belt.

"Two of our biggest scorers, juniors Mackenzie Miller and Teghan Piper, are nursing a few nagging injuries, so we watered down their routines a bit. Still, they were stellar and managed to show us just how much they will bring once we get them up and running on all cylinders."

Hudson is scheduled to visit Valley Division foe Mentor Dec. 20 at Lake Erie Gymnastics Center. The competition is set to begin at 7 p.m.

"These girls have been a pleasure to prepare with," Chepke said. "They're motivated, they're determined and they have a great competitive spirit. There's a quote by the Clash's Joe Strummer, 'The future is unwritten.' I believe it describes this team perfectly. The future is whatever they want to make it."

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